February 22, 2011

Mikan for ORCHARDS

Across Japan (and the world, I guess), authors and illustrators and friends are eating mikan or clementines to celebrate the launch of Holly Thompson's young adult novel, Orchards. This is the bag I bought for the occasion.

Usually, mikan come in an orange net bag, but for some reason they are in a plastic bag at our grocery store this season. Bags of small, medium and large mikan were piled up in two different displays. Sorry, they won't let me take photos in the store.

I bought a bag of small mikan because it reminded me of Holly telling us at lunch once that the mikan farmer she knew tossed really small ones aside. They were probably much smaller than these. I dug out a quarter to show you how small/big they are. See it there?

These mikan were expensive, but they were worth every penny, I mean, yen. They are sweet and juicy. Itadakimasu! And congratulations to Holly!

Kids Web Japan-- itadakimasu

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Holly Thompson's ORCHARDS

Holly Thompson's book, Orchards, launches today. Click here to get your copy. Mine hasn't arrived yet. I believe most of the story takes place on a a mikan orchard in Japan. Click on the label below for HTJ posts about mikan, Holly Thompson, SCBWI and other books by authors and illustrators who have come through Japan.

February 20, 2011

Near the Train Tracks

This is another lost post. Dated 2-20-07. I'm sure it still looks like this, though. That's an apartment building hugging the tracks. A little too close for my comfort! Don't you know that it's noisy!

A train crossing in my neighborhood. An apartment building on one side. Fields on the other.

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February 18, 2011

Sewing Machine Practice (Junior High School)

Little Brother is in ninth grade and is taking high school entrance exams. While cleaning his room for him, I found this. It is a cloth practice sheet from his seventh grade sewing class. He had to follow these lines on a sewing machine. The white thread he used doesn't show up in this photo. Click to enlarge the photo.

Anyway, on the far left, he folded over the cloth and sewed it following a straight line. Next to that, he had to go down a straight line and then make two corners and continue upward. Click on the label below for other posts about school sewing projects.

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February 17, 2011

J-Boys: Kazuo's World, Tokyo 1965

J-Boys: Kazuo's World, Tokyo, 1965, a middle grade novel written by Shogo Oketani, has been translated into English by SCBWI member Avery Fischer Udagawa. It will be available this July. It sounds really interesting and I can't wait to read it!

Click here to find out more about it and how to pre-order it. Click here for a website devoted to the book.

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February 15, 2011



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February 05, 2011


This section of Jindai Botanical Gardens is devoted to ume or plum blossom trees.

This poor tree needs help to stand.

It's split,

but it still blooms.

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Tree Cover

Not sure what is under these.
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February 04, 2011

Winter Shelter

At Jindai Botanical Gardens, some of the plants were covered with straw.

This little hut shelters a peony.

Here's another hut under a bigger hut. There were peonies on display.

This blocks the sun on some pansies. I'm not sure why except that the sun is pretty warm sometimes even in February.

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February 03, 2011

Mame for Setsubun

This is a bag of mame (pronounced mah-may). In Japan, February 3rd is setsubun and people throw beans, mame-maki. Click on the labels below for past posts and links to more information about setsubun.

Kids Web Japan-- setsubun
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February 02, 2011

Ume and Chestnut Trees

This field of ume (plum blossom) and chestnut trees (photo below) is on a busy street. We used to have a big field of ume down the street from our house.

Chestnut trees.

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Guardrails for Construction

Along this street, these orange monkeys and frogs hold guardrails to alert drivers about construction. At night, their faces and the strips on their legs reflect headlights.

This one is winking.
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